New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

In the face of new restrictions, Manitoba businesses are seeking help

Manitoba businesses request help in the face of new restrictions.

Key takeaways:

  • Some local entrepreneurs are pleading with the province for help, requesting direct, need-based funding.
  • The latest variant for downtown restaurants is pushing people away from the office and back to the home office.

Manitoba businesses feel the pinch as a new round of pandemic restrictions takes effect.

Some local business owners are appealing to the province for assistance, requesting direct, need-based funding.

Kelly Oxelgren, the owner of 2 Kelly’s Cafe in Winnipeg, says she feels like she’s starting over.

“Everyone is numb,” she explained. “We thought we’d gotten through the worst of it, but it seems to be revving up again.”

Also read: As cases remain high, New Brunswick will move to a stricter Level 2 next week

As COVID-19 case counts and rates rise, public health orders require many businesses, including restaurants, to reduce capacity to 50% again as of Tuesday.

This is the worst time of year for restrictions, according to Oxelgren, and her company and others need financial assistance from the province once again.

It appears that assistance is on the way.

Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding told CTV News that details of a new aid package would be announced on Wednesday.

The statement reads, “A program to provide additional support for businesses impacted by the most recent public health restrictions is being finalized.”

“This is a real gut punch for a lot of businesses,” says the author, “The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce’s president and CEO, Chuck Davidson, stated.

The chambers, according to Davidson, would like to see a new bridge grant based on need.

Manitoba businesses request help in the face of new restrictions. Image from CTV News

“We don’t believe this should be a blanket bridge grant for everyone; instead, we believe it should be targeted for the sectors and industries that are being impacted.” “he stated

According to Jay Kilgour, owner of Winnipeg’s two Fionn MacCool’s Restaurants, 54 reservations have been canceled just for Wednesday.

“We still have some reservations; people’s comfort levels are very different,” he said.

Kilgour stated that he has no plans to lay off any employees and believes they can operate at 50% capacity. Nonetheless, he believes that businesses and their employees will require assistance to get through this.

“There aren’t many options for hospitality workers who are laid off,” he said.

Sales are being harmed by more than just the restrictions. The latest variant for downtown restaurants is pushing people away from the office and back to the home office.

“Honestly, as soon as we heard about this omicron, everyone just kind of scatters,” Oxelgren said.

According to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, more than a one-time payment is required. It wants to see a flexible program that can assist now and in the future, depending on the ever-changing health orders.

Source: CTV News

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